Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Three Hundred Nuns

They number now only 300 and compare themselves to the “300” Spartans (the film 300) and the “300” army of Gideon from the Old Testament bible story. All of them know each other through online social networking.
The Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) are an apostolic group of Sisters who live by Ignatius spirituality.

One of their members Maryanne 34 in London, originally hails from Malta and is due to make her final vows this year, “sometimes I think, why did I do it!” she says. The sister sits in the living room of the snug convent she shares with 7 other sisters.

Marianne became a nun largely thanks to Jesuits arriving at her university. “I’m a woman, snag!” she thought at the time. Through the Jesuit FCJ she was able to take vows of chastity and poverty when she was 23 years old. The only thing she can never be is a priest.

Maryanne admits she would have fancied becoming a famous singer; her pupils enjoy her constant singing, recommending her for the X Factor show.

With numbers depleting through old age, it could be the end of an era for the Sisters since the nun “boom” of the 1960s. Marianne admits numbers are dwindling but suggests the new generation of nuns are of a “better quality”.She says, “A woman back then had fewer options, but now if a woman chooses chastity and poverty it is a unique spiritual choose.”
The nun lifestyle is still a stigma to even Catholic families; some parents still think their nun daughters have “thrown their lives away”, disappointed they won’t get any grandchildren. Others come around when they see how happy and secure they sit in their community.

In The News

Maryanne is a trustee of Maria Fidelis School in London, where she lives in the neighbouring convent and teaches maths. The school recently celebrated its 180th birthday.
A group of French nuns were in this news earlier this year for winning a record deal despite isolation vows.
You can follow the 300 sisters at the blog they keep


No comments:

Post a Comment